AN INTERVIEW WITH WINEMAKER, TAYLOR WHELAN

Locally Made. Wildly Delicious.

Q. What makes the Platinum Home Block Pinot Noir so special?

This Pinot is made with a handful of different blocks of grapes sourced from our Home Block Estate Vineyard. These blocks are made up of young and old vines, an array of different soil types, and a smattering of different clones making this a fun wine to make—there was just so much to play with. I think the result is a true expression of the vineyard as a whole and as a showcase of flavours
that only this kind of diversity can deliver.

 

Q. Does the age, soil type, and clone impact the way you farm?

The work we do in the vineyard is critical to the outcome in the cellar. We are always working towards just the right mix of concentration, ripeness, and natural acidity. Our ultimate goal? Slow ripening, smaller bunches, with more balance. Some of these blocks are doing this on their own while others need to be tamed to help manage vigor and ensure the right concentration of fruit. 

 

q. What is the story behind the new Platinum Simes Vineyard Rosé?

Essentially, Kurt and I were in the vineyard and tasting the fruit prior to harvest and when we tasted this one block near the top of Simes Vineyard we both agreed it was in the perfect rosé spectrum. We made the decision right there on the spot to pick it and make a small lot Rosé (we only made 100 cases).

When we pressed it the juice looked really cool, so we put it into a mix of concrete and neutral oak and let the wild fermentation begin. The result‚ a bone dry Rosé with a really zingy and fresh acidity and some beautiful textures

“These wines are a true expression of the vineyard as a whole and as a showcase of flavours that only this kind of diversity can deliver.”

 

— Winemaker, Taylor Whelan

Q. Why is the relationship between winemaking and viticulture so critical?

I think it’s so important! I have no illusions that 90% of the quality in our wines is the result of the work we do in the vineyard. You can never improve the quality of the fruit in the winery. You can only maintain it. For this reason, Kurt and I spend a heap of time together getting aligned on the wine style that we’re aiming for.

Although Kurt is driving all the vineyard management, we make a lot of
decisions together in terms of leaf removal or crop thinning. We probably would see each other every day at harvest. And we walk the vineyards every couple of days at harvest and make picking decisions together.

 

Q. Can you tell us about the Block 3 Riesling?

This Block of Riesling was planted in 1991 making it home to some of the oldest vines on the property. These vines love to retain acidity so a late pick was essential to capturing just the right balance of freshness and fruit This wine was inspired by some of the really great German Rieslings wines, which often have intense fruit profiles as well as great acidity. The 2020 vintage was a great one and this block was the last fruit picked. It was fermented in a mixture of oak and stainless steel. The resulting wine is beautifully balanced and fresh.

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